|Daytona Changes Course
for daytona 200
by dean adams
Thursday, August 12, 2004
This just in from the Daytona International Speedway:
Daytona International Speedway Announces New Course Layout For Motorcycles
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 12, 2004) For the sixth time since motorcycles began racing at Daytona International Speedway, competitors will compete on a reconfigured course beginning with next year's Daytona 200 Bike Week, Speedway officials announced today.
The new configuration will exclude NASCAR Turns 1 and 2 and will shorten the course to approximately 3.0 miles. The previous length of the motorcycle course was 3.56 miles. The Daytona 200 By Arai, scheduled for Saturday, March 12, will now be 67 laps instead of 57.
Since 1961, when motorcycles began competing at DIS, the course configuration has changed five times with distances varying from 2 miles to 3.87 miles. This is the first change since 1985.
The infield portion of the course has also been altered with the exit of the infield now located after NASCAR Turn 2.
"After each event, we discuss with the various sanctioning bodies what we can do to make our events better for our competitors and fans," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "The changes in the road course for motorcycles will still provide the exceptional motorcycle racing for which Daytona International Speedway is famous for."
"The reconfiguration underway at Daytona International Speedway is an example of what can happen when a track and sanctioning body proactively work together to create positive change," said AMA Pro Racing CEO, Scott Hollingsworth. "Beginning in December of last year, we've been discussing what was necessary for the long term health of motorcycle racing at Daytona International Speedway. This reconfiguration, along with some additional changes that will be announced in the coming days are the result of that dialogue."
Officials from AMA Pro Racing confirmed that rider involvement will be a valuable part of the construction process.
"It's important to us that our competitors are involved with this project so the plan is to bring them to Daytona at the appropriate time to provide input," Hollingsworth said.
Motorcycle racing at Daytona International Speedway will kick off March 3-6 with Formula USA/Championship Cup Series competition. On Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8, the Speedway will host AHRMA Classic Days Vintage Road Racing.
AMA Pro Racing kicks off activities on Wednesday, March 9 with practice and qualifying at the Speedway and the AMA Hot Shoe Series Championship at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium.
AMA Pro Racing practice, qualifying and support races continue on Thursday, March 10 along with the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Grand National Championship at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium.
For the second straight year, the Daytona Supercross By Honda will be held under the lights on Friday night, March 11. The 64th Daytona 200 By Arai is slated for Saturday, March 12.
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